5 Ways in which Writing is Social
*Rapid clicking* She pecked furiously at the keyboard, her pupils dilated from staring at the screen’s bright light for so long. She hadn’t talked to anyone all day–if you didn’t count her characters. They were talking to her, telling her everything she needed to know to tell their story. They trusted her, and that was all she needed. There was no stronger bond than someone trusting you with their life’s secrets.
Sounds about right.
Sadly, yeah. So many writers get so into their writing that they can isolate themselves. To some level, that can be good because it increases focus. However, it can also hinder our life and relationships. Our stories are our babies, our creations, our fantasies, and opinions; of course, we pour ourselves into it. But, our babies will leave us once published, and if you’ve neglected your relationships, you’ll have no one to share sending it off.
Contrary to popular belief, writing doesn’t have to be so introverted (though that is a common writer personality trait). Writing can be social; here are a few ways how:
Writing communities can be very integral for us writers. Not only are they a place for us to connect with others of similar interests, but it’s also a place for us to gain support. Lifestyle, resources, troubleshooting, feedback, encouragement, opportunities. A writing community will make these kinds of things available to fellow writers. Just keep in mind, a good writing community is only successful if its participants are active and observing community guidelines, though! Yeah, that applies to you, too!
As much as we fear criticism on our baby works, better writing isn’t possible without peer review. In the author-world, that’s called beta-reading. It’s basically the same thing you probably did in school when you asked someone to read your work before you turned it in. While there’s a little more to the process than just passing it to someone so they can remind you that you can’t spell and use commas, it’s essentially the same thing.
If writing smaller pieces, you can probably have a better experience with a writer workshop instead of having just one person read it.
Of course, having an editor is a must to have your work “professionally” (not self) published. This person will read your work and evaluate whether it “has potential”. Now, this person’s opinion is not all there is to say about your work, mind you. It’s just the opinion that will affect your work with that particular publisher. We tend to have hard feelings with editors, but, they can make or break your work through the publishing process and you tend to become very close. When you’re going the traditional route, your relationship with your editor (who isn’t editing your work in the traditional sense) is key to your final book’s success.
While communities allow lots of people to interact, support and help one another, writing buddies are more personal and 1:1. Writing buddies can be an effective way to keep your writing focused. Ideally, you work with one (or two) other people and who help you through your writing by talking about the topic to keep you thinking, giving consistent feedback, holding you accountable with possible deadlines, and other such things. While it’s nice and beneficial to have a crowd watching you in the stadium, it’s answering to your coach that really puts you in the game.
Depending on what you’re writing, you’ll probably have to talk/work with others regarding credible research. Sorry to break it to you, most of us are not experts in what we’re writing creatively. Even more so, good technical and creative writing work together and make your work that much more successful.
Research is essential to create an authentic story, in any genre. Some genres require it more than others, which may require collaboration with professors, interviewees, primary witnesses, experts, librarians, all kinds of living resources to ensure your work is exactly what you mean for it to be.
Personally, I think sharing our work and being more sociable during our writing process can make our writing better.
Not only do we stay motivated, but we also get feedback and support along the way. Not to mention we can start our marketing process!
Though it has become so, writing should not cloister us from the world. Our imaginations are amazing places and signatures of our work; but, if you don’t interact with the world as a writer, your work is just as limited as our technical writing counterparts.
So, how else is writing isolating and/or social? How do you think we can make writing a more involved activity? Should we even try to do so?
Let us know in the comments below and on social media. Also, don’t forget to sign up to receive Writer Wisdom in your inbox every other week—including access to free writing resources.